Daniel Byman

Essay
Jul/Aug
2013
Daniel Byman

The Obama administration relies on drones for one simple reason: they work. Drone strikes have devastated al Qaeda at little financial cost, at no risk to U.S. forces, and with fewer civilian casualties than many alternative methods would have caused.

Snapshot
Daniel Byman

Israel's operation in Gaza is meant to compel Hamas to stop shooting rockets into Israel and to better police its territory. But with Hamas unable to bend to Israeli pressure, and Israel unable to escalate or back off, it will be up to outside states to end the fighting.

Essay
Sept/Oct
2012
Daniel Byman and Natan Sachs

Israeli authorities in the West Bank have long worried about stopping Palestinian terrorism. Now, they need to add a new item to the agenda: stopping radical Jewish settlers who have begun attacking innocent Palestinians and Israeli soldiers alike. Jerusalem has to the stop the violence, and Washington should help.

Snapshot
Daniel Byman and Natan Sachs

Israeli authorities in the West Bank have long worried about stopping Palestinian terrorism. Now, they need to add a new item to the agenda: stopping radical Jewish settlers who have begun attacking innocent Palestinians and Israeli soldiers alike. Jerusalem has to the stop the violence, and Washington should help.

Snapshot
Daniel Byman

Washington wants to see Assad go, but it will be hard to unclench his hold without breaking Syria.The United States must prepare for state collapse now, so that it can try to prevent it later.

Capsule Review
Sept/Oct
2011
Lawrence D. Freedman

As Byman reminds readers in this comprehensive, balanced, and sharply written history, Jewish militants relied on force from the start to push the British out and keep the Arabs at bay.

Postscript
Daniel Byman

Al Qaeda will have a tough time regrouping after this year’s blows: the Arab revolutions discredited al Qaeda’s violent jihadist message, then the raid on bin Laden’s Abottabad compound killed the messenger.

Reading List
Daniel Byman

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

Comment
May/June
2011
Daniel Byman

Although last winter's peaceful popular uprisings damaged the jihadist brand, they also gave terrorist groups greater operational freedom. To prevent those groups from seizing the opportunities now open to them, Washington should keep the pressure on al Qaeda and work closely with any newly installed regimes.



This article appears in the Foreign Affairs/CFR eBook, The New Arab Revolt.

Essay
Sep/Oct
2010
Daniel Byman

Hamas is central to Israeli security and Palestinian politics, yet the international community refuses to work with it. This is a mistake -- Israel, the United States, and others should exploit Hamas' vulnerabilities with a mix of coercion and concessions.

Postscript
Daniel Byman

Targeted killings of enemy leaders have high costs, high risks, and limited benefits -- but are still a sensible way to combat al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan.

Essay
Mar/Apr
2006
Daniel Byman

One of the tactics Israel has used in responding to terrorism has been to seek out and kill individual enemies. Now Washington has started doing the same. The United States and Israel face different circumstances, however, and so the Bush administration should think twice before proceeding.

Postscript
Daniel Byman

Byman's update to his November/December 2003 essay "Should Hezbollah Be Next?"

Postscript
Daniel Byman, Kenneth Pollack, and Gideon Rose

A postscript by the authors to their January/February 1999 essay "The Rollback Fantasy."

Essay
Nov/Dec
2003
Daniel Byman

The radical Lebanese Shi'ite movement Hezbollah is fomenting violence in post-war Iraq and fanning the flames of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its bloody track record makes it a natural target in the war on terror. But Washington's only option is to confront Hezbollah indirectly: by getting its backers, Syria and Iran, to help change its focus from militancy to politics.

Essay
Jan/Feb
2000
Daniel Byman

The return of U.N. arms inspectors to Iraq would do more harm than good -- making a mockery of arms control and actually helping Saddam Hussein develop his doomsday arsenal over the long term. With support for threats of force flagging, a renewed, enfeebled inspection mission will find only what Saddam wants it to. He will then push to have Iraq certified as free of nonconventional arms, which would end the sanctions that keep Saddam in his box. Better an impasse than a sham.

Essay
Jan/Feb
1999
Daniel Byman, Kenneth Pollack, and Gideon Rose

The hottest foreign policy idea in Washington today is using the Iraqi opposition to topple Saddam Hussein. But all the current rollback plans are militarily ludicrous, anathema to key U.S. allies, or unacceptable to the American public. Relying on airpower would require a Desert Storm-sized air war and even then would probably flop; seizing enclaves from Saddam's grasp asks far too much of the feeble opposition army; and none of Iraq's neighbors will host guerrillas out to oust Saddam. Rollback's advocates are indulging in either wishful thinking or cynical politics. The only real option is renewed containment to keep Iraq in its box. Delusions of grandeur about toppling Saddam will lead only to another Bay of Pigs.